Friday, September 11, 2009
Well it's the first week and today I finally meet my new class today. I think I am still feeling a bit shell shocked. I haven't been in this state in 15 years since I began teaching a grade six at Moberly after seven years being an LAC teacher. This time as well I have been at the school board as a consultant for four years not in my own classroom. The idea of teaching grade seven math, science, social studies for the first time as well as grade six in a school with very little platooning is also a bit thought provoking. And to think a sensible person might have retired, sold her house, and moved somewhere exotic...
Oh well! I think I will feel better once I have real students in there or maybe I won't! And one day maybe my file cabinet will open, the computer table will be fixed,there will actually be computers, and I will finally be satisfied with my room arrangement! Otherwise all is well. Plus it's good to have to activate the brain cells in new ways (or so I tell myself).
But we are starting the school year off with a bit of a bang. One of the two authors of a new book, Dormia, Peter Kujawinski, contacted me this summer since he was going to be coming through Vancouver on a trip to Alaska. Since the trip was planned our first week back to school, it seemed a bit difficult to do much to help him coordinate school visits but I invited him to my school and put him in touch with our local children's bookstores though the lead time for them was too short as well for planning events.
I hadn't read or head of Dormia before but I checked out their website, read some reviews, and a week ago I read the book. I love some fantasy but can't say it's my favorite genre but I thoroughly enjoyed Dormia and was swept away in the adventure. I think kids will love it.
The characters are engaging and the premise unique. The "hero" of the story, Alfonso, lives in a small town in Minnesota, and he has a problem with sleep walking, but he doesn't know his unique powers until his long lost uncle appears, and they set off to the home his uncle and father left long ago, Dormia, a land hidden in the Ural Mountains, to save its last city. It's a quest in the best sense of the word. A quest that I think Peter is recreating somewhat on his current trip.
Peter, who is an American diplomat currently "stationed" in New York City (previously he has worked in Haiti and in Paris), wrote this book with his childhood friend, writer Jake Halpern. I can't tell you how excited I am to be meeting him and his wife, Nancy, a musician and teacher. I think this is going to be a very memorable event as well for four classes of Trudeau students on Monday.